From the Bart Auerbach Collection. 2 1/2 pages, small 4to. Item #409663
"Every body has some 'damned good natured friend.' Let me be your ficus achates on this occasion & point out the amusing passage in the National Journal. You will see that you are not so great a man as we have always supposed you were.. An Invalid criticizes you, & a 'young sprig of the law' knows no such man'... Pray instruct me – how can a man have 'a fine poetical tact' and yet 'want taste'? What is this 'poetical tact' but 'taste'? – However whenever I am asked hereafter whether Halleck is a Poet? I shall answer, 'I know no such man. He has tact but no taste & his great defect is congruity'... Be virtuous & be happy."
The body of the letter is presumably in the hand of Edward Nash, his long-time assistant and amanuensis (Gowans had never learned to spell). (BA).